CAMERA enforcement has begun in Leicester’s Belgrave Gate to tackle motorists who illegally park in a bus stop.
Over the last two weeks, 245 warning notices have been issued to drivers stopping to load, unload or park in the bus stop clearway near Haymarket Bus Station.
The stop is part of the free, electric city centre Hop! circular bus route, which carries around 1,000 people a day around the city centre, and the frequent illegal parking there is causing congestion and slows down the Hop! service’s journey times.
More than 17 people a day have been handed warning notices during the two-week period from September 4.
From Monday, September 18, motorists using the bus stop are being issued with £70 penalty charge.
At the same time, civil enforcement officers working for the city council have stepped up enforcement of the loading only bay immediately opposite the bus stop, which again is often used for free parking, blocking the route to other traffic.
In all the work has cost around £25,000 for the CCTV installation and five-year operating contract, which is funded by the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).
Leicester deputy city mayor for climate, economy and culture, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “Keeping the city’s bus stops and bus lanes free of congestion is key to ensuring the buses remain reliable and run on time.
“As the high number of warning notices issued in the last two weeks shows, this particular bus stop is regularly used by people as a free place to park, unload or drop off people close to the city centre.
“Hopefully this enforcement action will help deter people from stopping there, meaning the bus stop remains clear and buses can pull right up to the kerb which is vital for passengers with mobility problems.”
Camera enforcement is already in use to keep the bus clearway outside Leicester Station free of traffic.
The city council launched the free Hop! service on an 18-month trial basis as one of its Leicester Buses Partnership commitments. The Leicester Buses Partnership was launched in April 2022 to bring together all the local bus operators and Leicester City Council, to work jointly on addressing both the city’s transport needs and its environmental responsibilities.
Three zero-emission green Hop! buses – each of which features a distinctive frog “ribbit” effect bell – seat 21 passengers and operate every 10 minutes on an anti-clockwise loop, with 12 stops along the route.
Running from 8am-6pm from Monday to Saturday, the new buses are fitted with electronic information displays, next stop announcements, WiFi and USB charging at each seat, with each of the stops offering real-time information displays and text-to-speech facilities.
Moe details can be found at the Leicester Buses Partnership website here.